Beer lovers have plenty to celebrate in Las Cruces with an ever-growing number of craft beer breweries available to explore. We now have no fewer than six venues, spread evenly throughout the area, where fine crafted beers can be enjoyed. From the venerable High Desert Brewery and more upscale Pecan Grill to the latest additions, Little Toad Creek and Icebox Brewing Co., there’s a brew pub to match everyone’s tastes.
Let’s visit some of our local establishments and find out how you can bring some of the pub atmosphere home with you.
On a lovely Sunday fall afternoon, my husband, Brian, and friends Chas and Judy Miller headed out to visit three of our local breweries. They gamely offered to help research this article, willing to taste some pub grub and sample beers for the sake of Neighbors readers. We agreed that at each of our three stops, we would order flights to sample as many beers as we could.
Bosque Brewing Company
Our first stop was Bosque Brewing Company on University, which has twelve beers on tap, featuring six staples and six changing specialty beers, including the Pistol Pete’s 1888, which won the Bronze Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. They also offer a full menu of tempting fare to complement their beers. We were ready for lunch, so we had the falafel plate, their house-made hummus, crispy French fries, and street tacos. Not a scrap was left, so it was all deemed delicious.
We ordered two flights of six so we could sample every beer they had available and after careful consideration, we learned that overall, we all liked darker beers like Driftwood and Scotia, with Oktoberfest and Elephants on Parade also getting nods of approval.
Bosque often has a special charity beer on their specialty list with $1 of each beer ordered going to a non-profit.
Little Toad Creek
Our next stop was the newest in town, Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery, which has its roots in Silver City where their beers and spirits are created. This Main Street venue just across from Plaza de Las Cruces offers a great spot to linger downtown after a play or performance, Downtown Art Ramble, or Farmer’s Market visit. While they don’t serve food other than snacks, food trucks take turns serving out back evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. and midday on weekends. You can also order from nearby restaurants or bring your own food.
Little Toad Creek hosts live music, with bands performing Friday and Saturday evenings and Saturdays at noon. Tuesdays evenings alternate between karaoke and open mic and Wednesday evenings at 6:30 is trivia night. A pile of games is available if you want to hang out with friends and try your hand at games like cribbage, Trivial Pursuit, or Battleship.
The flights at Little Toad Creek offer a choice of four or six beers, so we opted for a larger flight and included a cider for something light and crisp. Although they also serve other New Mexico brews, we concentrated on their own beers.
We were split on our favorites between the darker beers like Pendejo Porter or Big Ditch Brown and E-9 Pale Ale. We didn’t try their spirits, but they have basic bar drinks and you can try their own tequila, whiskey, vodka, rum, or Toad Kauphy, a coffee-flavored liquor. You can join their Mug Club or Moscow Mule Club, which gets you a discount on each beer or mule. At the end of six months, you get to take your mug home.
We left Little Toad and headed to Spotted Dog, which has been in Mesilla for four years, and where people were enjoying live music performed by a duo on guitar and fiddle. They have music Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays at 8 p.m., so we timed our visit just right. They also have some special events, like an annual crab boil and a chile roast. They list their events on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
This locally-owned pub creates their own unfiltered craft beer onsite, offering 17 beers with seven on their flagship list. Here we opted to try two flights of four and unanimously voted the Milk Stout our favorite. My husband loves the buckets of peanuts available on each table and we also ordered more food, with Chas and Judy sharing a Green Chile Philly and Brian ordering their garlic and herb French fries. One side of the menu, including the appetizers and some sandwiches, stays the same, but the other side varies each week. To see the week’s menu, check the Colloquim Facebook page.
Spotted Dog features two outdoor patio areas, one smoking and one non-smoking. Each of the breweries we visited had a people- and dog-friendly patio. Bosque Brewing Company has a container of dog biscuits so your four-legged friend can enjoy a snack, too.
Want to enjoy our local beers at home? Every location we visited offers 32- and 64-ounce growlers for purchase that you can have filled (and later refilled) with your favorite brew. Wednesday is Growler Day at Bosque Brewing Company, offering $2 off a 64-ounce refill or $1 off a 32-ounce. You can also buy some Bosque Brewing Company beers like Scotia at local stores and Little Toad Creek sells beer in cans to take home as well as their spirits by the bottle.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect beer to go with pizza or Mexican food at home, or want to enjoy an evening out, there’s sure to be locally-crafted beers that will be a perfect match for your tastes.
Bosque Brewing Company, 901 E. University Avenue
High Desert Brewing Company, 1201 W. Hadley Avenue
Icebox Brewing Co., Three locations in Las Cruces
Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery, 119 N. Downtown Mall
Pecan Grill and Brewery, 500 S. Telshor Avenue
Picacho Peak Brewing Company, 3900 West Picacho Avenue
Spotted Dog Brewery, 2920 Avenida de Mesilla
Written and photography by Cheryl Fallstead
Originally published in Neighbors magazine
Posted by LasCruces.com